In Closet Witches, Brown and Chick lay a guilt rap on fellow Christians who don't take ex-witches into their homes or at least counsel them. Chick gripes that a pastor at Melodyland (the California megachurch despised by John Todd and Mike Warnke) refused to believe that witches could be brought to Christ. As a result, 60 former witches gave up all hope and died of drug overdoses. It's unclear how Chick acquired such information. Did he track down all of these ex-witches? Did he hear second-hand reports of their fate? As with the mission field fairytales of Kurt Koch, anecdotes take the place of hard information.
Dr. Brown's Story
Rebecca Brown's story, as told in Closet Witches and in her books, is every bit as weird as Elaine's. It includes religious persecution, demonic possession on an epidemic scale, and sinister medical conspiracies.
Bailey was born in Indiana in 1948. Though her parents were Christians, she came to believe that their church was evil because "drunkenness and adultery were rampant". As a result of attending this ungodly church, her parents became "evil and demonically controlled". (1)
Brown claims the hospital in which she met Elaine (not named by her, but known to be Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana) was a hellhouse where the forces of darkness had been loosed, not alike Lars von Trier's Kingdom. According to her, this is because most of the staff had turned away from Christ and were immersed in New Age/Satanic practices.
First of all, the hospital was plagued by mysterious deaths. When Brown expressed puzzlement and concern to her superiors, they warned her to keep quiet about it. So Brown did her own investigating, and discovered that a staggering 75% of the patients were suffering ICU psychosis, and all of these people were experiencing vivid hallucinations of demons. At least, most people would consider them hallucinations. Brown, as a fundamentalist Christian, decided the demons were real. (2)
This mass possession coincided with local religious persecution and Satanic activity, as well as New Age beliefs among hospital staff. A local pastor (unnamed) spent months in the hospital after he was kidnapped, beaten, partially skinned, and burned by vindictive Satanists who didn't appreciate his prosetylization efforts.
To Brown's dismay, nurses told an elderly patient she should let go of her will to live so she could be reincarnated. One laid hands upon the old woman and uttered strange incantations, trying to summon "higher powers" that could ease her transition into death. Instead, she summoned a terrifying demon.
At Bible study, Brown met a nurse named Lynn who confirmed that certain nurses were witches trained to encourage some patients to die. She also discovered that her town was located just 20 miles from the second-largest centre of Satanism in the US., next to L.A./San Francisco (possibly Chesterfield). "There was a whole town that was made up of Satanists and they had a Satanists' church, but they also had a lot of denominational Christian Churches they attended to put on a good front." Lynn revealed that many of the nurses and several of the doctors on staff at the hospital were Satanists.
The elderly woman was so frightened by demonic apparitions that Brown agreed to stay by her bedside through the night, and for the first time she experienced intense demonic oppression, feeling as though "something was literally trying to squash my body into the floor." (2)
Brown took it upon herself to protect every patient in the hospital from demonic interference. To her mind, this was a spiritual battle: Jesus and Rebecca against nearly every doctor and nurse in the hospital. Every night, she walked through the wards quietly uttering prayers for protection. After she started doing this, the death rate in the ICU dropped by 50%. (2)
Though she didn't know it at the time, Brown's most powerful enemy was Elaine. As Satan's wife, Elaine was in charge of the community's Satanic underground, and her husband explicitly ordered her to kill the obnoxious doctor who was stymying all his efforts. It was Elaine who sent out the order for the pastor to be abducted and tortured, but two such incidents in a single year would have attracted too much attention. "So I organized a national effort between [sic] top witches nationwide to get rid of Rebecca." The witches, knowing that Brown suffered a rare muscle disease, prayed for the disease to worsen. It did.
Brown's minister friend, "Pastor Pat", didn't know about any of the goings-on at the hospital. Yet he realized that Brown was suffering demonic oppression, and could soon die. He had his 200 parishioners pray for her. Thanks to Pat's efforts, Brown was freed from the influence of the witches and her disease was miraculously cured. (2)
The demons were so annoyed by this turn of events that they physically manifested and beat the tar out of Elaine. Satan was also highly displeased with her. He demanded to know why Brown wasn't dead yet, and ordered his wife to hurry up. This is around the time she was saved. Even after turning to Christ, however, Elaine continued to cling to witchcraft. The result was that Man-Chan and "several hundred" other demons stuck around, making her life difficult. (2)
Brown claims she experienced severe personal losses as a result of her fight against the Satanists. But she's cool with that, because God had warned her she would have to make sacrifices to do His work properly. On Closet Witches, she tells Jack Chick she resigned from her job to devote herself full-time to the battle against the Devil. As we'll see, this is not what really happened.
Brown contends that most, if not all, Christian churches have been infiltrated by Satanists, meaning Satanists-cum-Christians like Elaine face opposition even from their new faith communities. This is an absurd statement made by many ex-witches/former Satanists, and I would like to see some hard evidence for it. The notion that a Satanist would spend hours of every week attending a Christian church, posing as a Christian, is every bit as ridiculous as the idea of a devoted Baptist joining his local Satanic church to spread the gospel. It just doesn't happen.
At this point in Closet Witches, Chick complains that he and other Christians faced the same sort of persecution when God commanded him to launch a vicious, hoax-based attack against the Catholic church.
Then he makes a very strange confession. He admits that when he suspected a witch of sending curses against him, he prayed that God would return those curses tenfold. Wow, dude. If that's not persecution by paranormal means, what the hell is? How can he bellyache about mean ol' witches when he behaved worse than they (allegedly) did?
Though he expresses contrition for his behaviour, he also warns Christians not to return curses because it could kill them. Not because it's unchristianly to curse people. Not because curses are nonsense. Because uttering a curse could kill them. Sheesh, it's like time travel; I swear we stepped back into the Dark Ages for a second.
One story in Brown's Prepare for War concerning this period defies explanation. In this account, an angel descended from Heaven to kill Elaine because God considered her a "nuisance". Brown prostrated herself before this angel and begged to be killed in Elaine's place. The angel settled for making Brown severely ill for a brief period.
Brown's friends and former colleagues supposedly abandoned her when she left her job at the hospital, and family members even tried to commit her to a mental institution. People close to Brown, including her pastor, also disapproved of Elaine's presence in her home, possibly because Elaine attacked her with a butcher knife one day. Brown sensed that this attempted murder was really the work of Man-Chan, so she continued to let Elaine live with her. Pastor Pat performed an exorcism on her, expelling hundreds of demons in the span of eight hours. Unfortunately, he didn't get rid of all the demons. Within a week, Elaine was in the full grips of possession again. For two months poltergeist activity, psychic attacks, and other supernatural phenomena plagued Brown's house. Both women were brutally beaten and abused by discarnate entities. Elaine repeatedly tried to strangle herself to death with a belt, which Brown viewed not as self-abuse but as more manifestations of the demonic. "I'm convinced that most suicides are actually not done by the person themselves, but by a demon within them controlling their body," she told Chick. This echoes John Todd's assertion that many medical conditions, including epileptic seizures, are caused by demons. Brown even contends that Satanic and "Voodoo" curses are highly effective, capable of blocking a person's spiritual growth. (2)
It was only after Elaine renounced all her witchcraft powers and prayed for forgiveness that the nightmare abated somewhat. Another deliverance session with Pastor Pat expelled the last of the demons, including Man-Chan.
Brown warns that partaking in any "occult" activity (such as Satanism, Freemasonry, Catholicism, Dungeons & Dragons, or rock music) can open the door to demonic influence.
You have to wonder just how many witches and Satanists there are in the U.S., if each ex-witch has brought hundreds of other witches to Christ - as nearly all of them claim to have done. The numbers would be truly staggering. In reality, there are roughly 200,000 to 1.2 million neopagans, Satanists in the U.S. The number of Satanists is unknown, but would be extremely low relative to other minority religions. Needless to say, these numbers were considerably lower in the '80s.
Chick expressed concern about the number of Freemasons and Catholics who have infiltrated Protestant churches, a concern shared by John Todd and Bill Schnoebelen. Elaine told him you can always spot a Mason by his flamboyance and arrogance. Chick trotted out his absurd claim that Masonry, at its highest levels, is controlled by Jesuits. That's a neat trick, considering that Catholics are not permitted to become Freemasons. To prop up this incredibly weak conspiracy theory, Chick reads a letter from an anonymous former Mason and ex-Nazi who alleges that the Pope is the master of Freemasonry, just as "Dr." Rivera says. How convincing.
But Elaine obligingly confirms Chick's suspicion that "the Evil Trinity" (Catholics, Masons, and witches) works together to infiltrate and subvert Christian churches. That's not surprising; the testimony in Closet Witches seems tailor-made to appeal to Chick's own specific theories and prejudices. Elaine flatters him by saying it was one of his pamphlets that persuaded her of Christ's power, and by identifying him as one of the targets of the Satanists' wrath.
After resigning from Ball Memorial Hospital, Brown set up a private practice in another town (not named by her, but known to be Lapel, Indiana). Here the harassment escalated. Somehow, the Satanists played a role in the death of Brown's mother, and possibly struck Elaine with leukemia. Elaine was confined to her bed for half a year, semi-comatose, as Brown worked desperately to save her life.
Their church and their families turned against them, refusing to help in any way. This is when the Satanists broke into Rebecca and Elaine's home, murdered their pets, and trashed Rebecca's office. Though Elaine was still severely ill, they had little choice but to flee Indiana.
The number of preposterous statements made by Brown and Elaine are too numerous to count. We've seen a lot already: Satan getting married in a Presbyterian church, the Pope ruling over a horde of "flamboyant" Freemasons, etc. Here are a few more, told by Brown on Closet Witches and in her books:
- A teenage girl found herself suicidally depressed and "bound" by demons because of "weekend experimentation with street drugs during a slumber party around age 13." Come on. A kid's spiritual life is destroyed because she used an illicit substance once in puberty? Are you freaking kidding me? Where is the evidence - Biblical or otherwise - that one-time drug use is sinful and injurious to one's spiritual well-being? Even if that's so, where do we draw the line, here? Would a single toke separate you from God? What if you don't inhale? What if someone slips you a mickey - would the spiritual effect be the same, even though you don't realize you've taken a street drug? You see how silly this line of reasoning can get. (1)
- Most herbalists and health food purveyors are witches or yogis who utter incantations over their merchandise. Consuming any of this stuff leaves one vulnerable to demonic attack. Unholy granola! Satan's supplements! (1)
- It's wrong to be a vegetarian. Vegetarians lack the physical strength required to fight demons, as they consume only "incomplete proteins". Remember, this woman is a doctor. (1)
- "Be aware that many children’s toys are actually statues of demon gods." (2)
- Because of African tribal warfare, today's African-American communities have been cursed with violence. (3)
- "Every Rock music record and tape has a demon attached to it." Again, this is straight from the mouth of John Todd, who claimed that record producers took master recordings into Satanic temples and literally inserted demons into them. She urges parents to destroy any rock albums or D&D merchandise owned by their children, citing Deuteronomy 7:25-26, in which God urges his followers to slaughter the Canaanites and destroy all their religious stuff. Because that would be a sane and humane thing to do. (1)
- If you don't inform your Catholic friends that they are "witches" destined for Hell, then you are basically a witch yourself. Really? I wonder if Brown told her Catholic financial backers this, right before they handed her a substantial sum of cash to open up her private practice. (1)
- Brown herself suffered 13 years of demonic attack just for viewing the King Tut exhibit, because all Egyptian artifacts are cursed. (3)
- Sorority and fraternity members are particularly prone to demonic attack. When they pledge loyalty to a deceased founder, they are actually declaring their devotion to a demon. (1)
- A minister's family experienced Amityville-style paranormal activity (blood oozing from walls, objects whizzing through the air of their own accord, etc.) because the minister's 18-year-old stepdaughter had become demonically possessed after her natural father molested her. The belief that sexual abuse causes possession in victims, rather than perpetrators, is disturbingly common among Christians interested in demonology (notably Bob Larson and the late Dr. M. Scott Peck). On Brown's advice, the minister ejected the young woman from his home and this ended the demonic phenomena. (1)
- Satanic ritual abuse is real, and its primary aim is to "place demons" into children. She offers some appalling advice to parents who discover their child has been abused: "The first decision is whether to notify the authorities. You must carefully seek the Lord's wisdom on this issue. We are most certainly in the last days and our country is almost totally corrupt." In other words, don't even give the authorities the chance to do the right thing. Just let child molesters, rapists, and even murderers run amok in your community if God "tells" you to do so. What Brown is suggesting would actually place her readers on the other side of the law, as most states require you to report suspected child abuse. (1)
- Brown portrays Satanists as homicidal thugs. Without giving a single solid detail, she told Jack Chick that a Satanic coven slaughtered a fourth of its members for betrayal (briefly becoming Christians). In other words, Brown knows of 25 murders and she's not naming names. This is quite typical of the former witches in this series. They claim to have witnessed human sacrifices, rapes, and a host of other atrocities - but they don't report these alleged crimes, nor provide enough information for the alleged crimes to be exposed. That's very odd behaviour for people who are "fighting Satanism" and "saving souls". If they really want to protect the rest of us from baby-eating, virgin-slaughtering Satanists, they can start by learning to dial 9-1-1.
Unless, of course, they're bluffing about all this carnage. And I think the evidence will show that Ruth Brown and "Elaine" were doing just that.
The Exposure of "Elaine" and Dr. Brown
Surprisingly, one of the Christian media outlets that called the Elaine story into question was the Personal Freedom Outreach Newsletter, which had promoted the anti-Wiccan agenda of Tom Sanguinet back in '83. In 1989, writers G. Richard Risher, Paul R. Blizard, and M. Kurt Goedelman delved into the backgrounds of Ruth and Elaine. What they discovered flatly contradicted much Jack Chick's material about the two women.
First of all, Rebecca Brown did not exactly resign freely from her job at Ball Memorial Hospital. She was asked to leave when her deliverance rituals and religious paranoia began to disturb patients and staff. She left Ball Memorial and set up a practice in the town of Lapel. She and Elaine set up housekeeping in the nearby town of Pendleton, telling locals they were sisters.
Interestingly, Brown's funding came from a Catholic hospital. She certainly didn't mention that to Jack Chick when they were discussing the Catholic-Masonic plot to destroy Bible-believing churches.
In 1984, under her original name, Ruth Bailey, she was stripped of her license to practice medicine in the state of Indiana. The events leading up to this are deeply unsettling. On October 17, 1983, Elaine was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis after receiving a near-fatal overdose of painkillers, her body covered with bruises and lesions from multiple injections. Significantly, she was not suffering from leukemia or any other serious medical condition.
Officer Samuel E. Hanna of the Madison County Police found that Edna had been under the treatment of one Dr. Ruth Bailey. Subsequent investigation revealed that Bailey, in a six-month period, had written prescriptions for 330 vials of Demerol. She had regularly administered 600-900 cc of phenobarbitol to Edna, when 150-200 cc is typically a fatal dose.
The following May, when Bailey was summoned to appear at a hearing of the Indiana Medical Licensing Board, she was residing in Niles, Michigan. She was found guilty in absentia, and her medical license was revoked.
The witness testimony at this hearing was profoundly disturbing. Several people testified that Bailey brandished a handgun and threatened to shoot them because they were possessed by demons. Ruth's former live-in housekeeper testified that Ruth and Edna were more than just friends and housemates; they shared the same bed. Far from living in the sanitary conditions a cancer patient would require, the two women lived in squalor. Their house was strewn with garbage, used syringes, food, animal feces, and overflowing ashtrays. Some of the witnesses had watched Ruth injecting not only Edna with morphine and Demerol, but also herself and teenage Claudia. Ruth explained to them that God had allowed her to "share" her patients' illnesses, to ease their burden.
Worst of all, Bailey had misdiagnosed several patients (including Edna and Claudia) with serious ailments including leukemia, gallbladder disease, blood disorders, and brain tumours. She told the women that these conditions were caused by demons, and claimed that God had granted her the ability to diagnose diseases other physicians could not. She prescribed massive amounts of painkillers without adequate instruction, supervision, or record-keeping; some of her patients subsequently had to go through detox, and underwent withdrawal. She falsified patient information on charts and records to convince other doctors that her patients were severely ill. (4)
There are many unanswered questions about this incident. Who checked Edna into St. Vincent's? Did Ruth flee to Michigan alone, or did Edna accompany her? Where was Claudia while her mother was in hospital? Why was Edna diagnosed with leukemia and given massive quantities of drugs? Was Bailey drugging her friend to keep her dependent, or had the two women fallen into a dangerous folie a deux involving delusions of terminal illness and Satanic persecution (not to mention drug addiction)?
These questions may never be answered, but we can address some of the other claims made by Ruth Bailey. For instance, did Satanists have any role in the death of Ruth's mother, Lois Bailey? It's unlikely. Mrs. Bailey was 75 years old when she succumbed to a heart attack on December 31, 1982. (4)
What about the mayor of Muncie and the chief of police being Satanists? Brown gives this as her sole reason for not turning to law enforcement when Satanists started harassing her.
Well, the late Robert Cunningham was the ougoing mayor (1980 was an election year). Brown may have considered him a badass, but his gravestone tells a slightly different story. I don't think there's a self-respecting Satanist on earth who would choose such a fuzzy-wuzzy epitaph. At any rate, even if Cunningham was the nicest Satanist in the world, he was replaced by Republican Alan K. Wilson, and Wilson was replaced in '84 by the late "Big Jim" Carey. Were both of these men devil-worshipers, too? Watch the classic 1982 documentary The Campaign, part of the PBS series "Middletown", and decide for yourself. It chronicles the 1980 mayoral race between Wilson and Carey.
In 1986, Ruth Bailey legally changed her name to Rebecca Brown. She continued to refer to herself as a doctor, though she never acquired a license to practice medicine outside Indiana.
Like the other people in this series, Bailey declined to give the names of witnesses who should have been able to corroborate parts of her story. For instance, the doctor at Ball Memorial who learned of the Pavulon in Elaine's IV, or the nurse who confessed to helping poison her food. Neither she nor Elaine reported any of the attempted poisonings and bombings. She does not name any of the murderous doctors or nurses at Ball Memorial, which would be quite inconsiderate if her stories were true - shouldn't the public be warned?
"Elaine" was Edna Elaine Moses (nee Knost). Her witchy background turned out to be solidly Christian, though I suppose she could argue this was actually evidence of her infiltration efforts. Her high school yearbook (1965) listed her as a member of the Bible Club, and she married in a Foursquare Gospel church. (4)
Throughout the late '60s and the '70s, Edna/Elaine lived with her mother and stepdad in her hometown of New Castle, Indiana, working at a series of low-paying jobs. She then became a Practical Nurse (LPN) and worked in nursing homes in and around New Castle. If she lived the jet-setting life of a Regional Bride of Satan, no one seems to have noticed.
Strangely, Edna used an array of aliases after meeting Ruth Bailey. She sometimes used the surnames Bailey or Brown, her maiden name, or various combinations of her given names. Though she could have argued this obfuscation was necessary to shield herself from the Satanists, Edna's location was usually known.
After their adventures in the Midwest, Edna and Ruth packed their bags and headed to California, home of Chick Publications (and a large number of the other ex-witches in this series). Chick not only published their stories, but hired them to work for him. They also landed speaking engagements at several churches.
Edna eventually drifted away from Ruth, and passed away in 2005.
Ruth married the Daniel Michael Yoder (real name William Joseph Stewart) on December 10, 1989. (4)
Yoder/Stewart has a very mysterious background. He claims he was born into a very wealthy Jewish family of international bankers (hinting at the Rothschilds, which brings to mind the "Satanic Nephilim" nonsense of Doug Riggs) and schooled by Rabbinical and Cabbalistic scholars at an exclusive Swiss boarding school between the ages of 6 and 19. He was ritualistically tortured by the staff of this school. As soon as he arrived, the rabbis locked him in basement dungeons and dumped poisonous spiders on him. This is when Jesus appeared to Daniel and miraculously healed the spider bites. But he didn't become a Christian until his 30s.
Upon completing grad studies in Switzerland, Yoder went to work in his grandfather's business. He later inherited it, and started some businesses of his own as well. When he was 30, his parents forced him into a strategic marriage with a woman named Kai, also a victim of "Cabbalistic abuse". She soon converted to Christianity, which so enraged their families that hitmen were hired to kill the young couple. They were captured on the run and shipped to Israel. Daniel was chained to a wall, forced to witness Kai being tortured to death for her refusal to renounce Christ. She was with child at this time, having miraculously conceived in spite of a non-medical hysterectomony performed upon her in childhood at the behest of the evil rabbis.
Yoder fled to a remote cabin in the United States, where Kai's martyrdom and her copy of the Bible finally persuaded him to accept Jesus.
Like his second bride, Yoder offers no verifiable details of any of his stories. (3)
At the time of his marriage to Brown, Yoder was using another man's social security number. The newlyweds relocated from Arizona to Lake Park, Iowa, where Yoder passed himself off as a retired neurosurgeon whose father had also been a doctor. He befriended Dickinson County Sheriff Greg Baloun, telling Baloun tall tales about his days as a surgeon. In one fairytale, he used a modified Chevy Cordoba with a 40-gallon gas tank to make emergency trips between California and Nevado, speeding along the highways at 200 miles an hour.
Within a six-month period, Yoder and Brown lived in three different communities in northeastern Iowa and set up a ministry called Wells of Living Grace. The authorities discovered that Yoder was using several aliases and forging documents to prop up his false identities. He had served time in Minnesota and Missouri for simiar offenses. Perhaps knowing the law was at their door, Yoder and Brown returned to Arizona.
In 1991, Yoder was arrested in Pheonix and extradited to Iowa to face charges of falsifying motor vehicle registrations, driver’s licenses, and social security records. He ultimately pled guilty in exhange for a modest fine, then resumed life in Arizona. Later the couple would relocate to Arkansas.
Together, Yoder and Brown established a ministry called Harvest Warriors. Their website describes Yoder as a "prophet, healer, and evangelist", and claims that in 2002 he was presented with the National Republican Congressional Gold Metal for leadership, on the recommendation of Newt Gingrich. (5)
Yoder's real background remains largely unknown.
In 1992, the Christian publisher Whitaker House reprinted the first two books by Rebecca Brown, and they have remained in print since that time.
The Reverend William W. Woods, pastor of Deer Valley Church of the Nazarene in Phoenix, the minister who married Yoder and Brown, wrote the foreword to their first book, Unbroken Curses (1996), and continues to support their work. (5)
Yoder and Brown continue to travel and preach, spreading curse theology and misinformation about neopaganism and the the "occult". Last March, Yvonne Kruger of Prophetic End Time Ministry invited Brown to speak in South Africa.
Though Brown's star has definitely fallen since the mid-'80s, she retains a small corps of fans who enthusiastically recommend her books. Last year, a sixth-grade science teacher in Brooklyn was mildly reprimanded for distributing and selling copies of They Came to Set the Captives Free to some of his students.
1. Prepare for War by Rebecca Brown, M.D. (Chick Publications. Chino, Calif., 1987)
2. Closet Witches summary @ Monsterwax.com (reposted @ James Japan's homepage). Retrieved June 26/11.
3. Unbroken Curses: Hidden Source of Trouble in the Christian's Life by Rebecca Brown, M.D. and Daniel Yoder (Whitaker House, 1996)
4. "Drugs, Demons, and Delusions: The 'Amazing' Saga of Dr. Rebecca Brown" by
by G. Richard Fisher, Paul R. Blizard and M. Kurt Goedelman. Originally published in The Quarterly Journal of Personal Freedom Outreach. Vol. 9, No. 4, October-December 1989. (reposted @ Cult Help and Information)
5."The Curse of Curse Theology": The Return of Rebecca Brown, M.D." by G. Richard Fisher and M. Kurt Goedelman @ Personal Freedom Outreach.org